When you live in London, sometimes you stop seeing London. It can pass you by, like a big red bus.
Sometimes all I see are its problems – the rib-crushingly overcrowded tubes, the fact it costs £8 to drink a warm G&T on the road outside the pub. The tourists, the inequality, the shove and the push. The cycle of pressure, of late nights and long queues at Pret. I can forget the million different experiences waiting for us here. The counter flow of new restaurants and shows opening and new trends starting here first. The glamour, the excitement, the lights and the life. The fact that you are probably only a stones throw from a new opportunity, (or at least a Pret).
It took a boat-ride down the Thames – being a tourist in my own city – to make me see what I sometimes forget. London’s majesty and grandeur.
I don’t think London is necessarily beautiful or welcoming or kind. I cringe when people project a warm and fuzzy ‘I Love London’ Instagram identify onto a city that is, to me, ultimately tough and big and old. But I do think its stunning. On a boat trip on an ordinary day this city can certainly turn some heads. Sailing from Embankment, through the city to Greenwich, the word that springs to mind is ‘grand’.